See C. L. Lewis, Famous American Marines (1950); R. D. Heinl, Soldiers of the Sea (1962); J. B. Moran, Creating a Legend (1973).
The initial verse is "From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli." "Montezuma" refers to the Battle of Chapultepec, which took place during the Mexican-American War; "Tripoli" refers to the First Barbary War and the Battle of Derne.
The "Marines' Hymn" is typically sung at the position of "attention" as a gesture of respect. However, the third verse is also used as a "toast" during events important to the Corps such as the Marine Corps birthday, promotions, and retirements. Note the line "Here's health to you and to our Corps."
Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From the dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job
The United States Marines.
Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And have never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.
This version can be heard in the 1950 film Halls of Montezuma. In 1919, the third and fourth lines were changed to include the "first to fight" motto. In 1942, the second line was changed to refer to the addition of air power to the world's military arsenals.
(In 1940, during World War II, British forces occupied Iceland to guard it from possible occupation by Nazi Germany. In 1941, responsibility for the occupation was transferred to the U.S., who garrisoned a brigade of Marines.)
The tune is used as the St. Joseph's Nudgee College rugby union First XV song, with modified lyrics that do not differ greatly from those which are used by the USMC. The tune is generally given as a cry from the stand during home games. The lyrics are as follows: